Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said citizens venturing out of their homes should wear two masks from now on.
Ideally, they should wear an N-95 mask. Or they should wear a surgical mask over a cloth mask. The government had banned walking for exercise in public places. Citizens should also abandon exercising in parks, beaches, and public squares for now. The State had banned sports, athletic and clubbing activities. It had further reduced office attendance to less than 25% of the workforce.
The Chief Minister was insistent that the police allow house maids and manual labourers to get about their business. He asked the police to address their travel needs.
Mr. Vijayan said the pandemic situation was grim. It was yet to peak. Some experts believed the storm was yet to come. Kerala had to ensure that the current surge did not turn into a tsunami. A giant wave of fresh infections could easily swamp the State’s limited health-care resources.
The government had to build more capacity to handle the spiralling cases. It had commandeered hotels to be turned into COVID care centres quickly.
Returning officers deployed for election duty would enforce the pandemic code. Sectoral magistrates, incident commanders, police and volunteers would back them.
People should sequester themselves inside home as far as possible. They should only venture out for emergencies. Citizens should restrict purchase of victuals to neighbourhood shops. The police would crackdown on inessential travel.
Mr. Vijayan said Japan had retarded the momentum of the plague by remaining indoors. He said citizens should postpone house visits. They should discourage visitors for now. Infections reported from homes were mounting. Children should not mix with elderly till the pestilence abated.
The State-run Civil Supplies and horticulture corporations and Consumerfed should immediately commence online sale and home delivery.
The government had closed the harbour and fish auction halls in Kollam district to prevent the infection rate from climbing further.
Markets could open to sell essentials. However, entrants and traders should wear double masks and ensure physical distancing. The administration had banned indoor dining. But hotels could serve food as takeaways. The emphasis was on home delivery. The 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew would continue. The government would further tighten restrictions if the pandemic worsened, he said.